David Wagner

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Bundesliga wrap: Wagner’s Schalke shine; RB Leipzig hang onto 1st

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The Bundesliga’s leaders remain RB Leipzig after four match days, and Schalke continues to surprise under new boss David Wagner.

Paderborn 1-5 Schalke

One-time “next big thing” Amine Harit scored twice to join goals from Salif Sane, Suat Serder, and Ahmed Kutucu as Schalke overcame an early concession to clobber the hosts at Benteler-Arena.

USMNT youngster Weston McKennie came off the bench to get in on the action for David Wagner’s men, trading a 1-2 with Everton loanee Jonjoe Kenny en route to Harit’s first of the night.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule  ]

RB Leipzig 1-1 Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski’s third minute goal leant the early goings of this one an aire of predictability, but Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig rallied behind a first half stoppage time penalty to keep the top spot on the table, one ahead of BVB and Freiburg. Bayern remains two points back of the leaders.

Union Berlin 1-2 Werder Bremen

Davy Klaassen and Niclas Fullkrug score early in each half as Bremen improved to 2-2 on the season.

USMNT teen Josh Sargent was a 68th minute sub for the visitors, but only had four touches while completing all three of his passes as the visitors defended for the win. He was credited with 31 runs over his 22 minutes.

Elsewhere
Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-1 Wolfsburg — Friday
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen — Saturday
Koln 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Mainz 2-1 Hertha Berlin — Saturday
Augsburg 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Hoffenheim 0-3 Freiburg — Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 4 3 1 0 10 3 7 1-1-0 2-0-0 10
 Borussia Dortmund 4 3 0 1 13 5 8 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 SC Freiburg 4 3 0 1 10 3 7 1-0-1 2-0-0 9
 Bayern Munich 4 2 2 0 12 4 8 1-1-0 1-1-0 8
 VfL Wolfsburg 4 2 2 0 7 3 4 1-1-0 1-1-0 8
 FC Schalke 04 4 2 1 1 8 4 4 1-0-1 1-1-0 7
 Mönchengladbach 4 2 1 1 5 4 1 0-1-1 2-0-0 7
 Bayer Leverkusen 4 2 1 1 6 7 -1 1-1-0 1-0-1 7
 Eintracht Frankfurt 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 2-0-0 0-0-2 6
 Werder Bremen 4 2 0 2 8 9 -1 1-0-1 1-0-1 6
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 4 1 1 2 6 7 -1 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
 1. FC Union Berlin 4 1 1 2 5 8 -3 1-0-2 0-1-0 4
 1899 Hoffenheim 4 1 1 2 3 6 -3 1-0-1 0-1-1 4
 FC Augsburg 4 1 1 2 6 10 -4 1-1-0 0-0-2 4
 1. FC Köln 4 1 0 3 4 7 -3 0-0-2 1-0-1 3
 FSV Mainz 05 4 1 0 3 4 13 -9 1-0-1 0-0-2 3
 SC Paderborn 4 0 1 3 5 12 -7 0-0-2 0-1-1 1
 Hertha BSC Berlin 4 0 1 3 3 10 -7 0-0-1 0-1-2 1

So far, so great for American coach Marsch with Red Bull Salzburg

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The American manager has had an interesting ride in recent seasons. Bob Bradley got short-shrift at Swansea City and is bossing MLS with LAFC. Gregg Berhalter serially overachieved at Columbus and is now taking his lumps with the USMNT.

There’s something to be said about David Wagner at Huddersfield Town and Schalke, but the former USMNT striker’s background is almost exclusively German (there’s nothing wrong with that, but it makes for a lousy case study).

So we’ve made a note to keep an eye on Jesse Marsch’s early season as the ex-New York Red Bulls coach takes the reigns at Red Bull Salzburg.

After all, the perennial Austrian contenders sold five players with eight-figure price tags, including Israel’s Munas Dabbur and a quartet of Germany-bound players.

Marsch did not leave the U.S. as a player or coach, aside from international duty and one year with Montreal, until he left RBNY for an assistant’s job with RB Leipzig last season with a view to this gig.

The Austrian league sits just below the Netherlands in UEFA coefficient, and Salzburg is a rich club in the league but the situation was far from a, “Hey kid, here are the keys. Don’t drive into a lake.”

So far, so great.

Salzburg is 6-0 to start the league campaign, and has scored 27 goals while conceding just four.

He’s been helped by 19-year-old Molde transfer Erling Braut Håland, who has scored a remarkable 11 goals with three assists in seven games. Haland made his Norwegian national team debut on Thursday.

Marsch will manage against Genk, Liverpool, and Napoli in the UEFA Champions League this season and, at 45, could be on the pathway to an even bigger gig.

USMNT’s McKennie off to strong start under Wagner at Schalke

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The hand-wringing in USMNT critical circles over whether Weston McKennie would be used at a different position for club than country — Gasp. How would he deal with that? — can be eased a bit now.

Schalke’s young mainstay, 20 for another two days, has played all but five minutes of the club’s first two Bundesliga matches, and manager David Wagner likes what he’s seeing from the central midfielder.

[ MORE: Not time for Man Utd panic ]

His 3.5 aerial duels won per match is tops on the team, his 3 interceptions per match behind only Omar Mascarell. On a team which could struggle to score goals, he’ll be a big part of getting the ball from point A to point B and is leading the team is passes completed. Small sample size, of course, but promising.

“He’s an outstanding talent on the No. 6, No. 8 position. He has a real working mentality and he is brave on the ball as well. He has a very good header. He’s 20, 21, so there’s a lot more to come but we are very, very happy to have him in the team. This is for sure one of the top players for Schalke and one of the top players for the Bundesliga for his position as well.

McKennie signed a new five-year deal with Schalke this summer, and we knew the club’s next hire would be huge for the USMNT (as bold as that sounds, yes, the entire team). So far, so good, even if Schalke is 0-1-1 after a tricky first two matches versus Borussia Monchengladbach (draw) and Bayern Munich (loss).

Huddersfield fire Siewert three games into Championship season

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Jan Siewert was hired to replace David Wagner as Huddersfield Town manager on Jan. 21, with the Terriers bottom of the Premier League and quite clearly headed for an inevitable relegation.

Fast-forward nearly seven months, and Siewert has been fired by Huddersfield after three games without a win in the EFL Championship.

[ MORE: Barcelona, Bayern Munich agree deal to loan Philippe Coutinho ]

Siewert began his tenure 10 points adrift of safety from relegation, but then finished 20 points back of 17th place.

Siewert’s only victory (in any competition) as Huddersfield manager (19 games) came in a 1-0 upset of Wolverhampton Wanderers, last season’s seventh-place finishers in the PL.

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Huddersfield’s decision came down Friday night, just minutes after the club suffered a 2-1 home defeat to fellow relegated side Fulham. Huddersfield sit 20th (of 24 teams) with just a single point from their first three games of the season.

The Terriers were also bounced from the League Cup by League One side Lincoln City last week.

What’s next for the USMNT?

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We’ll be waiting for September for the next USMNT on-field action and there are plenty of things worth monitoring when it comes to the progress of Gregg Berhalter’s men even before the next ball is struck by men in red, white and blue.

The four brightest American talents in Europe all have new coaches, as Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic (Frank Lampard), Schalke’s Weston McKennie (David Wagner), RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams (Julian Nagelsmann), and Wolfsburg’s John Brooks (Oliver Glasner) aim to impress their new bosses.

There is uncertainty for Matt Miazga, Tyler Boyd, and Zack Steffen as well. The first two don’t know whether they’ll be with their current clubs, Chelsea and Vitória de Guimarães, by August or on loan, while Steffen has to win the Fortuna Dusseldorf goalkeeper job in his return to Europe on loan from Manchester City.

Throw in Josh Sargent’s hope of winning first team time at Werder Bremen and Tim Weah’s chance to impress new owners at Lille, and this August will have something to say about the fate of the USMNT heading into September’s break. That’s all without mentioning Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin also getting a new manager.

From a calendar standpoint, what’s actually next is a pair of friendlies, expected to see Mexico and Uruguay visit the American shores in early September.

The next two international breaks hold CONCACAF Nations League matches home and away against Canada and Cuba, and the Yanks will be heavily favored to advance to the semifinals in March 2020 (If Gregg Berhalter’s men do finish behind the Canucks, well, see ya later pal).

After that, it’ll be World Cup qualifying (though we’re still waiting on the format with which CONCACAF will choose its three automatic qualifiers and one inter-confederation playoff participant for the winter 2022 tournament in Qatar).

Winter!

Anyway, those Nations League matches won’t see the Yanks at full strength, at least in theory. October sees the U.S. U-23 side’s chance to qualify for and play in the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

Jason Kreis will hope to do what Andreas Herzog and Caleb Porter could not, and lead the U-23s to the Olympics.

It’s a valuable experience for a generation of players, and can be a tremendous boost for a nation which finally has its U-20 program in order and thriving at the U-20 World Cup.